philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology

19Apr/19Off

Despite cuts, White House looks to agencies to advance AI priorities

AIworkforceParker said that while overall research and development budgets have been cut, "AI was protected."

On the civilian side, the White House's budget does specifically propose $850 million for AI funding between the Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation -- all agencies that face overall and R&D cuts.

Parker also pointed out that the administration wants to see agencies reporting their investments in AI because tracking AI projects is "so hard" right now. "We can begin to get a better holistic view of what our agencies are spending in this area."

See the full story here: https://fcw.com/articles/2019/04/18/ai-workforce-gunter.aspx

19Apr/19Off

This Pop-Up Uses AI to Make Perfect KitKat and Sake Pairings

kitkatsakeWhen you try to think of two great tastes that taste great together, what comes to mind? Peanut butter and chocolate? How about a KitKat bar and a nice glass of sake?

You might not know where to begin, but that’s no big deal. The folks at Nestle Japan have just unveiled a pop-up “bar” that utilizes the power of artificial intelligence to determine the perfect KitKat and Sake pairing for customers.

See the full story here: https://www.geek.com/culture/this-pop-up-uses-ai-to-make-perfect-kitkat-and-sake-pairings-1783666/

19Apr/19Off

Groove Jones Builds Virtual Reality Fighting Game for UFC and Modelo

Creative technology company Groove Jones has partnered with the UFC to create a virtual reality game. The Modelo UFC Fighting Spirit VR Challenge has been rolled out at bars and events during UFC Fight Nights this spring.

Users face a fictitious 6’2”, 172-pound opponent in a virtual Octagon in the Groove Jonescampaign. Russian fighter Blatov Brosovich leaps across the ring to begin each fight. Players use a handheld wireless controller designed by Steelseries to throw virtual punches and kicks with hopes of knocking out Brosovich. They can see the action through an Oculus VR headset, and must swiftly twist out of the way to avoid being hit by Brosovich’s incoming punches and kicks.

The VR challenge iPad app also collects each user’s name, email, and phone number. When the experience is over, a 360-degree panoramic image from the center of the Octagon ring is sent to the user, which he or she can share to their social media.

See the full story here: https://www.sporttechie.com/groove-jones-virtual-reality-fighting-game-ufc-modelo/

19Apr/19Off

GYMNASIA Virtual Reality Experience by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Felix & Paul Studios to Premiere at 2019 Tribeca Film Festival

GYMNASIA is a groundbreaking cinematic VR experience that is a collaboration between Felix & Paul Studios, the National Film Board of Canada and Oscar®-nominated Clyde Henry Productions. The six-minute experience flawlessly blends 3D 360-degree video, stop motion, miniatures and computer-generated graphics (CGI), and pushes the art of puppet animation into uncharted territory. GYMNASIA will be available for download on the Oculus Store beginning April 26, 2019.

GYMNASIA is a dark dream—unsettling and weirdly wonderful. It is the first stop motion VR experience to induce the elusive anxiety that occurs when the lines between “real” and “unreal” are blurred beyond belief. In GYMNASIA , viewers step into the stillness of an abandoned school and enter a place where the ghostly ephemera of a lost childhood await them. The immersive experience recalls the sights and sounds of a child’s world through the echoes of ball games, school lessons and choir recitals.

See the full story here: https://www.apnews.com/Globe%20Newswire/5263185fb1d0c408354aeddf1b627590

19Apr/19Off

Top 10 Future UX Trends Adopted By Google

Simplicity and Clarity in UI

Well-Curated and Appealing Content

Faster Loading Speed

Personalized Customer Experiences

Data-Oriented Design

Voice Activation

Cross-Functional Capabilities

Easier Payment Systems

Focus on New Tech and PWA (progressive web apps)

Authentication through Biometrics

See the full story here: https://www.business2community.com/mobile-apps/top-10-future-ux-trends-adopted-by-google-02192757

19Apr/19Off

A futuristic simulation of a Chinese Mars mission has opened in the Gobi Desert

china_mars_14 RTX6S2GBRecently opened in Gansu province, and set among the orange backdrop of the Gobi Desert, C-Space Project Mars simulates a speculative Chinese-led mission to the red planet.

C-Space seems to be more in the realm of speculative science fiction, aimed at the imaginations of school groups and tourists.

Reuters visited the site of the project, which currently occupies a plot about the size of a football field. The developers have lofty goals, to the tune of a multibillion-yuan investment, with the plan of it occupying 26 sq miles (67 sq km), Reuters reports.

See the full story here: https://qz.com/1597863/inside-chinas-mars-simulator-camp-in-the-gobi-desert/?fbclid=IwAR38xdDAXmEyIEoFdCqbwtkL07WdRks_Fe0a5jbs26CeGiW-7TNp9jfvrZk

19Apr/19Off

Augmented reality game designed to attract next generation of techs

Studio apartment living room with a large comfortable sofa standing next to a coffee table. Panoramic windows. 3d rendering mock up

Studio apartment living room with a large comfortable sofa standing next to a coffee table. Panoramic windows. 3d rendering mock up

The game is called TMCSuperTech.

“We made the decision to create this game with Design Interactive for two primary reasons,” said Robert Braswell TMC executive director. “To promote awareness of the vocation among middle and high school students who make up the next generation of vehicle maintenance personnel and to help technicians prepare for the TMCSuperTech competition by providing a hands-on training experience for the skills challenges.”

Available on Android and Apple smartphones and tablets, Design Interactive’s gamified TMCSuperTech skills challenge uses AR technology to project a fictional city with a fleet of moving trucks. As the vehicles require service, they are brought into a virtual garage where the game will ask users playing the role of a technician to execute tasks inspired by TMCSuperTech events. Points are awarded for the time trucks are repaired and for the longer they remain in service.

TMC is seeking sponsors to help support the adoption of its next-generation-workforce-focused product —TMCSuperTech: The Game. There are four levels of sponsorships available. TMCSuperTech is an annual two-day event organized by TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee. The premier skills competition for professional commercial vehicle technicians from all segments of the trucking industry will be held September 15-19, 2019, at the Raleigh Convention Center in conjunction with TMC’s Fall Meeting.

See the full story here: https://www.thetrucker.com/augmented-reality-game-designed-to-attract-next-generation-of-techs/

19Apr/19Off

Roaming Interactive Droid Characters Will Not Appear When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Opens

The incredible demand at the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will not allow Disney to roll out some of the interactive, roaming droid characters they had planned on having in Black Spire Outpost.

According to sources, Disney has decided it will just be too crowded for the opening weeks and months at Disneyland and Walt Disney World to have the droids attempting to roll through the streets on the planet of Batuu without fail or incident.

See the full story here: https://wdwnt.com/2019/04/roaming-interactive-droid-characters-will-not-appear-when-star-wars-galaxys-edge-opens/

18Apr/19Off

Top 25 Game Companies Generated $107 Billion Last Year

Google_Stadia_ControllerThe top 25 public game companies, which represent almost 80 percent of the $134.9 billion worldwide gaming market, generated $107.3 billion in revenue in 2018. According to researcher Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report, this marks the first time that the top 25 companies have surpassed $100 billion in a single year. China’s Tencent ($19.7 billion) took the No. 1 spot for the sixth consecutive year, followed by Sony ($14.2 billion), Microsoft ($9.8 billion), and Apple ($9.5 billion). Collectively, the top 10 companies experienced 19 percent growth last year.

Apple and Google have consistently performed well in this market, due in large part to revenue generated from their app stores. “Google recently announced Stadia, the company’s cloud gaming platform that allows users to stream entire games via the Internet,” reports VentureBeat. The company also “announced the creation of Stadia Games and Entertainment, its own studio that will develop Stadia-exclusive games.”

See the full story here: http://www.etcentric.org/top-25-game-companies-generated-107-billion-last-year/

18Apr/19Off

Verizon Media Opens 8 Studios Globally, Including 5G Studio in Los Angeles

vmlastudio_volcap2Photos by Gino DePintoVerizon Media, the telco’s content subsidiary formerly known as Oath, has been busy building out its network of video production facilities around the world: In the first few months of this year, Verizon Media opened or upgraded studios in New York, London, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brazil and Australia. In addition, it also launched a 5Gstudio in Los Angeles that is meant to pioneer new production technologies and media formats enabled by 5G connectivity.

The studios are being used by all of Verizon Media’s brands, including Yahoo, HuffPost, TechCrunch and AOL. A special focus of the Los Angeles studio space, which is being led by Verizon Media’s immersive content unit Ryot, is the evaluation of cutting-edge technologies, said head of Ryot Zeda Stone. “We have a full motion capture stage here,” he said, adding that the space was also equipped with a volumetric capture stage.

After first testing these technologies in Los Angeles, Verizon Media is then looking to customize them for the needs of its other studio spaces. For instance, it brought a simplified motion capture system to an existing studio space in Taiwan, where it is now used to produce content for one of Verizon Media’s YouTube channels.

In addition to equipment for motion and 3-D capture, the Verizon Media studio in Los Angeles is now also equipped with a full-blown 5G node, which enables Ryot to experiment with ultra-fast, low-latency wireless data transfers. “It is the only 5G studio in the world,” said Verizon Media general manager of news, entertainment & studios Alex Wallace. “No one knows where 5G is gonna take us, but we want to be at the forefront of it.”

One are of focus will be to evaluate 5G’s role in making productions more nimble, and possibly replace the satellite truck still commonly used for TV coverage with a much smaller set-up, explained Stone. “How do we break down that production pipeline?” Ryot will also be doing real-time animation and motion capture with 5G, and envisioning a future when audiences with 5G phones can directly interact with that type of content.

All of this is happening as telcos are slowly starting to build up their network infrastructure to bring 5G to their consumers. Verizon announced earlier this year that it would bring 5G to 30 cities this year, but thus far only serves small sections of Chicago and Minneapolis with the technology.

“We are nowhere near where it’s going to be,” acknowledged Wallace. This also means that no one really knows which apps and services will ultimately be successful on the service, which she argued was another reason for experimenting with the technology early on. “I don’t think anyone predicted Facebook when 4G came around,” Wallace said.

See the full story here: https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/verizon-media-studios-5g-1203191919/?fbclid=IwAR0RcDXcbRYrIBmEQlG8vcDeTZt-qsbLG5q26-Y5nrWMn4NqQE_q3q1wy3Y